by Melinda Gallo

Un cappuccino bello caldo

Before catching a train to Milan for yet another conference yesterday, Dave and I went and had cappuccini e paste (cappuccinos and pastries) in a new bar. We decided to try a new bar that a friend of ours told us about in via Palmieri. Everyone seems to have a favorite bar to have a cappuccino and mine is on Borgo degli Albizi. Although it's also a pastry shop too.

We don't generally go out for cappuccini e paste in the morning because we work from home and Dave makes a great caffè latte with his Gaggia espresso machine. When I first moved to Italy, I went every day for a few months and got my cappuccino with a bombolone con crema (cream filled donut). I also put on a few kilos and soon stopped my morning visits to my favorite bar.

I was surprised that my cappuccino cost me only 1 Euro. I have paid much more in other bars in centro. And, I did enjoy my bombolone con crema especially since I hadn't eaten one in a very long time.

Most of my friends go almost every day to their favorite bar to have a caffè. I hear my neighbor leave her apartment every morning at 8AM to get her cappuccino at her favorite place down the street. When I told her once that we don't go out for colazione (breakfast), she looked at me in horror and said, "You don't know what you're missing." I do admit that it's a wonderful treat!

Almost every time I go to a bar in Florence, I tell the barista that I want my cappuccino bello caldo (hot cappuccino). I don't like drinking a cappuccino that is served warm. The Florentines, of course, accommodate me as I'm not the only one to ask, but I have noticed that most Florentines accept their cappuccini as they are served, tiepidi (warm).

In the few places I've been in Milan to order a cappuccino, it has already been bollente (steaming hot) so I haven't had to ask. While we're here, we are drinking as many cappuccini bollenti as we can before returning to Florence where we'll have to ask once again that it be served bello caldo.

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